GM Says 2011 Chevrolet Volt to get 230 mpg in City Driving

If you've been wondering what is the number "230" that popped up as an annoying commercial in many places around the web the past few weeks, General Motors revealed today that it's the EPA city fuel economy rating of the forthcoming Chevrolet Volt. In particular, GM said that it expects the Volt extended-range electric vehicle to achieve at least 230 miles per gallon in city driving and a combined fuel economy rating of triple digits.

The fuel economy ratings are said to be based on a new methodology being developed by EPA specifically for plug-in electric vehicles. According to GM, the EPA methodology uses kilowatt hours per 100 miles traveled to define the electrical efficiency of plug-ins.

In the case of the Volt, GM said that its EV will consume as little as 25 kilowatt hours per 100 miles in city driving meaning with an average cost of 11 cents per kWh, a typical Volt driver in the US would pay around $2.75 for electricity to travel 100 miles, or less than 3 cents per mile

"From the data we've seen, many Chevy Volt drivers may be able to be in pure electric mode on a daily basis without having to use any gas," said GM Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson. "EPA labels are a yardstick for customers to compare the fuel efficiency of vehicles. So, a vehicle like the Volt that achieves a composite triple-digit fuel economy is a game-changer."

The Volt, which is scheduled to start production in late 2010 as a 2011 model, is expected to travel up to 40 miles (64 km) on electricity from a single battery charge and be able to extend its overall range to more than 300 miles (480km +) when the flex fuel-powered four-cylinder engine-generator kicks in.

"The key to high-mileage performance is for a Volt driver to plug into the electric grid at least once each day," Henderson said.

The Volt will also be available in Australia as a Holden and in Europe as the Opel / Vauxhall Ampera.